Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Barn -Part II

So after the outside of the Barn was done we immediately got to work on the landscaping.
I knew I wanted some scrubs on the left side so that's where I began.
On my daily walks up here I've discovered this fabulous bush called the Fire Bush which has purplish blue leaves and crazy wonderful hazy looking blooms from a distance.
I alternated those with another bush that has reddish green leaves.
Can't wait to see them grow together and the effect they will create with their colors against the lighter green of the building.
My next project was to get those stepping stones out of the way so I could level the hill in front of the barn.
Here I must have dug up another 200-300 daffodil bulbs.
It was crazy!!
(That man in the distance is our neighbor, friend and carpenter, Chris Love)
He and my husband Jim were working on the inside while I did the outside.
I took me two full days of moving the earth to get that hill where I wanted it, wetting it down as I went so it would compact.
And as I worked I got burnt to a crisp  :(
Then off Jim and I went to dig rocks from the mountain side.
Since his back is so bad I wouldn't let him do too much of the lifting, and as the summer went on his back got so bad that he had to sit out a lot of our rock runs.
So on my daily walks with our dog I'd kick rocks from the side of the road, then go back later with the jeep and load them up.
I made to make several trips cuz I was planning lots of walkways and planters.
This old wheelbarrow that we found in a junk yard has really come in handy.
I've only fallen over a couple of times with it going up and down thru the loose dirt  :)
Below is the first rockway I lined to the barn.
It was like putting together a puzzle.
At first I didn't realize how many rocks I was going to need, so I wasn't picky when it came time to get down to business.
Besides rocks I eended up using broken asphalt, concrete chunks, broken brick, whatever I could find along the road.
I put in two special stepping stones that my kids and I made when they were little with their sweet tiny handprints.
Also on the right side of the barn I dug out a lot of the hillside to form a walkway that will later on lead to a picnic table and chairs amongst the trees.
I recycled pieces of wood from the interior of the barn and got to use a nail gun for the very first time to build a wooden barrier to hold back the dirt when it rains.  :)
When my children and grandkids come up to visit I plan on having them glue mosaic pieces onto the inside of the barrier then we will grout it up for a super cool mosaic wall. 
Next was 5 bags of 70 pound pea gravel sacks to spread out to keep the weeds down and dirt off our feet.
I also started planning some planter areas for holly and rose bushes in front of the Barn.
Then down the hill I went with another walkway.
This one was much steeper and longer so Jim taught me to lay in railroad ties for steps.
That was fun!
After they were in Jim drilled thru them and nailed in these super long steel nails to help hold them in place.

OH no, then another 8 more bags of pea gravel to spread.
That was the hardest part for me because I couldn't lift the bags, way too heavy!
I could barely drag them, so I would cut a 5 inch opening and used my hand to pull enough out so that I could lift the bag to where I needed it.
This was rough and really time-consuming.
The weather was very warm and humid all summer and I was drinking a ton of ice water a day while I worked.
Jim just kept refilling my glass  :)
Thank you honey.
Jim spray painted a black metal arbor for me white and I buried it in the ground at the end of the long walkway.

Below is my tiny rose garden and this really cool piece of wood I dug from the ground that looks kind of sculptural on it's end.
And then it rained, it poured and so much dirt was washed over my freshly spread pea gravel.
So up to the street to the top of our property I went and build a dam from broken pieces of wood I'd dragged home.
I posted that last week if you want to see it again, titled "So Much Better than Going to the Gym"
In past III you will see what my son and I did with all the left over rocks and wood.
Cuz I put everyone to work when they come to visit!

1 comment:

  1. Cute pathway leading to the barn!

    IDEA: you should grow vines on the arbor - morning glory or grapes. That's look extra pretty! Also, my mom says passion fruit looks really cute, but I personally don't know anything about the fruit.

    What's pea gravel?

    -Your 7th grade student